Zoom Autism Magazine Issue12 - Page 18

covenant. Daddy would always be back. The next time the tires squealed on the pavement, I knew that no matter what, he’d return. What I didn’t know was that the sense of security he’d ensured that I had in that moment, and every mo- ment thereafter, would become the foundation for my definition of family. I am grateful that my marriage has followed a very different tra- jectory than my parents’, but the truth is that family, in any form, is complicated. When family members have competing needs, which, I suppose, in some form, all do at some point, it’s even more complicated. breathe—and close enough to stay connected. And we can. Because just as I knew that my dad would always be back, we know with certainty that we are in this— all of it—together. I grew up an only child. I cherish my relationship with my step-sister, but she didn’t come into my life until I was four- teen and, even then, we lived under separate roofs—she with her mom and me with my dad. Neither of us knew anything but the luxury of our parents’ undivided attention. “Life for our family isn’t al- ways smooth. But the in- congruous truth is that it’s also all the more beautiful for its trials.” So, like every oth- er family I know, we have our chal- lenges. Lots of them. Both those that we face from outside of our walls and the ones that live between us. We don’t pretend they’re not there. We don’t sweep them under the rug. We face them, head on, together. But facing everything together doesn’t mean that we can always *be* together comfortably. Like any group of imperfect humans, we aren’t always able to accommodate one another’s needs and maintain our own well-being simultaneously. In those moments, we sometimes need to walk away. Not far. Just far enough to When Katie was a toddler, I knew that I wanted a second child, but I worried about how I would be able to give both her and her sibling the indi- vidual relationships that I had relished with my parents. I didn’t know how I would do it. But I knew that I had to. When it became clear that our family had some extra chal- lenges, it became ever more important to me to forge those bonds with each of my girls. To spend time alone with them. To carve out space for them as individuals. To be to them what my da Bv2FRrBW"f֖ǒrFFN( 2&V6RRbW 7BFVfrfVGW&W>( FWfW'"bW22W"vVVP&VF62vRV6fPWF6F&VvV6W07FfFW2FBvRfRFFFvWFW"&GV2@67&G2FBf'g&"F"B&氦bV&W2FB&RW7BW'>( G6&VBF&Vv7F&W2'WB67&VBB7V6RbגFN( 2ff&FRFw2FF2FvfPW2WW&V6W22vgG2ƖRFR6&7F2F@RB2&VWFgVvfR6VB'&RB^( @W7BFRGvbW>( GF6"FVWBF&FPW&W"BW"FW"6"( g&VG2(  V&ƖW"F2V"vVRvfRFRBRF6ЦWG2FFf"W"gF&'FF( vPV&W2( R6B( ĖFRVBFW&RF@GFW"( ЦRFBvR7BV6FW"WFR&fW"Ц&F6V6VFW"B6( Ğ( WfW"VfR( Х6W2f֖Ǟ( FWfW'Bbf֖Ǟ( F26ЧƖ6FVBBB6&RWfV&R6Ɩ6FV@vVN( 2G6'WBf"W2N( 2FR6Ɩ6ЧF2FV6VfW2FBfR'&VvBW266W"FRFW"7G&VwFVVBW2B6vVBW0vvR&Vǒ&RBN( 2FRW76V&VB6V'2v( @FBfF67FBBVvfW&rfRw0W2Ff6RvFWfW"6W2WBvFw&6RV"BV6FW"F6RV&W2FR&rW2BFR6W"WfW'Ff&WG7&VFR6wVvRFWFRW2FvWFW"BW7B'&B'WB'fЧVW2B6&VBWW&V6RFWvfRW2BЦf&FV&&WBW'6VfW2V6FW"@FRv&BFWFV6W2FBvR2FfGV2&Rv'FbW"vFRBW"vVff'B2vV2RFW.( 2FW6rW2FBvPF( BfRF&RFR6R6676RF&PFvWFW"BFN( 2V6W76'&V6W6R6WFW2&VpFR6R6676R26ǒFV6BFN( 2ƖfRf"W"f֖ǒ6( Bv26F'WBFP6w'VW2G'WF2FBN( 26FR&P&VWFgVf"G2G&2&V6W6R2Fff7VB2@6&RFƗfRF&VvN( 2FR&B7GVfbF@FV6W2W2&WBW'6VfW2BV6FW"गN( 2FR6VvW2FB&fRFW2FBR0vrvW&^( FGFW"rW77BvWG2गN( 2FRV'F'&V0FBFV6W2&W@G'W7BBfF@fRf֖ǒ''&P7Bf֖ƖW2&RFgVFBFW&RFvWFW"ऒƖRFrG2b7GVfbvFFFG@FRWfW'vB7FvFגFW"fVV6gB6fRvFW"vFגFBƖRFFgVW0ƖR( vW&R&RFVЦvs( ƖRЦrFRVvvVvR&RFvWFW"fVVvW6R( vVvR&RFvWFW"fVVvW6R( ФN( 2FRVv&Rb72FB6w2W0FBvR67W'ffRBN( 2FRFW2v6vRfVVFR7@fRvrFג( 2W6R&V6W6RPW2RG2b66FR7GVfbBFW2אWF6F&VvV6W0